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Pukalani Stables to be dedicated as Paniolo Heritage Center (June 25)

Pukalani Stables (Photo courtesy of Paniolo Preservation Society)

MEDIA RELEASE

Waimea’s historic Pukalani Stables is a century-old cornerstone of Hawaii’s famous Parker Ranch.

Once housing nationally revered stallions and stewarded by some of Hawaii’s most respected paniolo, Pukalani Stables is being resurrected by the Paniolo Preservation Society as a long-dreamed of “Paniolo Heritage Center” to nurture and perpetuate the state’s ranching traditions which bridge nearly two centuries of Hawaiian history.

To dedicate refurbished Pukalani Stables as a community gathering place, interpretive center and repository for the proud heritage of the Hawaiian paniolo, members and friends of PPS are invited to an open house 4-7 p.m., Saturday, June 25 at the stables.

A $10 donation is suggested per person and may be contributed at the entry gate.

A traditional blessing will be held at 4:30 p.m., and attendees will be invited to explore preliminary exhibits while enjoying light paniolo pupu, beverages and Hawaiian cowboy music by Kimo Hoopai and Friends.

“Pukalani Stables is an idyllic ‘home’ for the Paniolo Preservation Society’s heritage center,” PPS President Robby Hind said. “Built about 1909 by Parker Ranch trustee A.W. Carter, Pukalani Stables has played a vital and colorful role in supporting Parker Ranch and it is a perfect setting to share the story of Hawaii’s ranching heritage.”

The keys to Pukalani Stables were handed over to PPS by Parker Ranch leadership April 1 to formalize an unprecedented partnership that triggered closing the stables for restoration.

Since then, dozens of PPS volunteers have lent a hand and PPS has invested nearly $50,000 in a much needed facelift that included an extensive cleanup, power washing, painting, landscaping and electrical repairs.

The stables are again available to families and the community for weddings, receptions, birthdays, reunions, public events and fundraisers.

For information about using the stables for a private party, call Anthony Roberts at 640-9379 or email aroberts.pps@gmail.com.

Revenue generated by use of the stables as well as PPS memberships will help pay off recent renovations and underwrite operating costs for what will become a “living history” heritage center.

Soon, twice daily interpretive tours with historian-storyteller Anthony Roberts will be introduced to help bring the paniolo story of Hawaii to life.

Also, walking tours of nearby ranching sites are planned and PPS will collaborate with other paniolo heritage sites and organizations on the island, including Anna Ranch, HOEA’s PIKO Gallery, Kahua Ranch, Cowboys of Hawaii, Kona Historical Society and Lyman House Museum to celebrate the contribution and achievements of Hawaii paniolo, past and present.

Restoring Pukalani Stables as a heritage center fulfills PPS’ fundraising objective of the 2008 Waiomina Centennial Celebration, which commemorated the 100th anniversary of Hawaii’s most famous paniolo, Ikua Purdy, winning the world championship of roping in 1908 in Wyoming.

PPS organized the statewide centennial celebration in 2008 and also took a large delegation of ranchers, paniolo and cultural practitioners to Wyoming to participate in the annual Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo celebration. That precipitated a permanent exhibition spotlighting the paniolo heritage in Cheyenne’s world renowned Old West Museum.

Established in 1998, the Paniolo Preservation Society works to increase public awareness of the historical, present-day and future significance of Hawaii’s ranching industry, with emphasis on the roles and traditions of the paniolo.

Among PPS’ significant achievements have been getting Ikua Purdy installed in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, and subsequently securing community support to commission a Fred Fellows bronze monument honoring Purdy, which sits in the heart of Waimea – his aina hanau (birthplace).

Since its founding, PPS has acquired an extensive archival collection of historical photographs and documents, and a growing collection of Hawaiian ranching artifacts including an array of saddles, bits and spurs.

Many of these prized objects need restoration and will in time be exhibited at the stables.

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